Best License Free Two Way Radios

Updated 1/2021

No matter what business you are in, you know that clear communication can mean the difference between achieving success or falling short. You know that two way radios are a great resource to enhance your team’s service, but you hesitate when you see language like “requires FCC license agreement” on a product page. You might be new to the two way radio world and were hoping to get your feet wet before having to bring a government agency into the fold. We totally get that.

While the FCC is playing an important role in keeping the airwaves free of cluttered transmissions and users’ information private, not everyone needs the advanced systems technologies high powered radios utilize. I want to show you a couple of incredible two way radios you can operate license free without worry and provide answers to some frequently asked questions we get concerning licensing.

What am I missing with a license free two way radio?

Something wonderful about newer license free two way radio models is they have been designed to the same standards as many professional tier two way radios and carry many of the same great features such as group calling and privacy codes.

Though, by staying in the license free sector, your two way radios will not have the same range as the two way radios with higher wattage. They will also not support the more advanced systems technologies, like IP site connect, that the higher-tier two way radios can utilize.

Can a business use license free two way radios?

Absolutely! The requirements for attaining an FCC license agreement have to do with use-case criteria as opposed to whether the consumer is using their devices for personal or professional needs. The FCC allows for businesses to utilize commercial two way radios that have power outputs up to 2W without requiring licensing.

Many other factors can impact whether you’re required to obtain a license agreement with the FCC and how much your agreement might cost. The strength of your system and the area it impacts are just a couple of examples that could affect your licensing criteria.

To save you time, I’m only highlighting 2 radios I believe are a couple of the best license free two way radios on the market and providing links to a few others we offer in case you would like to do some more digging.

If you would like to see current pricing for any of the two way radios listed, simply click the links provided and add them to your cart.

Best License Free Two Way Radios

Motorola DTR700 | FCC License Free Two Way Radio

Motorola DTR700

The DTR700 is a two way radio operating in the 900 MHz spectrum making it perfect for use indoors or in an urban setting. The penetrating power of transmissions sent over such a high frequency makes up for the loss of range due to lower wattage on the device. Your Motorola DTR700 will give you interference-free, private communications for up to 350,000 ft2 or through 30 floors.

With features like Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) and Profile ID’s, the DTR700 ensures your messages are being protected while providing you with flexible call options like Private Reply and Digital One-to-Many Calling to enhance the efficiency of your communication channels.

I love to recommend the Motorola DTR700 for smaller medical centers or educational facilities in cities for their exceptional ability to deliver secure information through several floors of a building, license free.

DTR700 key features

  • Digital transmission

  • Ideal for schools, hospitality services, retail, and churches

  • Has 50 channels in the 900MHz frequency band

  • Max power output = 1-Watt

  • 16-hour battery life

  • Full-color display

  • Quick text feature

  • Over-the-air-cloning capable

  • Call alert

  • IP54 Rated

  • 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
    Kenwood NX-P500 | FCC License Free Two Way Radio

Kenwood NX-P500

The NX-P500 is an amazing little two way radio. It is one of the most compact and lightweight radios on the market and still offers 2W max power for great range in a license free unit. The NX-P500 offers mixed mode operation for digital and analog, allowing those transitioning to digital systems to do so at their own pace.

If you conduct business around water or in high dust areas, the NX-P500 has got you covered with its IP67 rating, telling us it’s dust-tight and able to be fully submerged in water up to 3ft (1m) deep.

Equipped with VOX (Voice Activated Transmission), Fleetsync® paging, and color-coding groups, you can be sure your messages are getting to the right team members every time. Additionally, NXDN digital frequency scrambling and digital encryption let you rest assured your information is being kept private even though you are using public FRS frequencies.

Another reason I have chosen to highlight the NX-P500 is that it’s repeater capable. This is a feature not often seen in license free two way radios. It allows you to extend your range by incorporating the NX-P500 into a larger communications network. NOTE typically systems involving repeaters are required to obtain an FCC license agreement due to the high-powered nature of repeaters. Being repeater capable, the Kenwood NX-P500 is a less expensive alternative to professional-tier radios you can integrate into your larger communications network.

I tend to recommend the Kenwood NX-P500 to retail businesses and those in hospitality. Its sleek design keeps your team looking professional in the storefront while having the power to deliver private communication to the rest of your team, ensuring your business runs smoothly.

NX-P500 key features

  • Mixed-mode digital/analog transmission

  • Ideal for business, retail, hospitality, education, and the restaurant industry

  • Has 6 preprogrammed channels in the UHF (450 – 470 MHz) frequency band

  • Max power output = 2-Watts

  • 15.5-hour battery life

  • Lightweight 5.64oz (160g) design

  • NXDN digital scrambler

  • VOX hands-free mode

  • Repeater capable

  • Fleetsync®

  • LCD display

  • 7-Color LED notification light

  • IP67 rated - dust and water proof

  • Free programming software

  • 2-year manufacturer’s warranty

Other license free two way radios

Kenwood PKT-23

Kenwood TK-3230DX

Motorola VL50

We educate, you decide what’s best for you

After reading about what license free two way radios can provide, you might be asking yourself:

Should I consider an FCC license agreement?

That depends. This goes back to your use-case. If you have a larger organization that requires repeaters and the use of more advanced systems technologies or if your company needs professional tier two way radios like the Motorola XPR series, I definitely recommend obtaining an FCC license agreement.

The larger your communications network, the better the chances of the FCC finding your transmissions and subsequently fining you for not having the proper license agreements.

Also remember, the fees charged by the FCC are not arbitrary. They are charging the fee to mitigate expenses as they work to make the airwaves less cluttered and therefore more usable for the consumer.

Something else to consider is the inherent privacy your license agreement will provide you as your organization will be the only users operating on the given frequencies.

Wrap it up

We at Radio Depot are here to empower you with the knowledge to make the right decisions for your business. Should you decide your organization would benefit from obtaining an FCC license agreement or if you have any lingering questions about license free two way radios, you can leave a comment below, fill out our contact-us form, or call (888) 733-7681 and one of our master radio consultants will be happy to help.

As always, if you found this article helpful, share the wealth of knowledge with friends and family on social!

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